I've only posted here once or twice, but frequently read the posts to gain some perspective on career issues. I'm hoping some folks can shed some light on my situation.
I've been in my current position as a Transportation Planner for over two years and really like my job, I work with great people, etc. But, it's a small (though progressive) town and I would eventually like to get to the SF Bay Area or somewhere else on the west coast. My wife would REALLY like to get out there now to be closer to family, to the point where we're considering just moving, without a job lined up. I'm really reluctant to do this, as career-wise, my current situation couldn't be better and I feel that eventually I'll land a position under the right circumstances. I'm one year away from AICP, which would be jeopardized/postponed by quitting my job now. I have been looking for jobs and had two preliminary offers in CA that both fell through due to hiring restrictions.
In addition to the idea of moving and finding a job, I'm considering going back to school as a way to get out to the west coast, but I already have a master's in Public Affairs and don't want to do a phd. I'm considering a second masters degree in Planning, Landscape Architecture, or even Information Systems.
A Planning degree would mostly be to increase my appeal to future employers, but not so much for personal knowledge, as I already have a good enough handle on the Planning issues that I care about. LA would give me a broader skill set and open me up to new career possibilities, but would definitely be more work and time than the other degrees, and I'm not at all interested in the idea of working for a developer (a planning consultant would be fine). My thought is that with an LA degree I could still be a municipal Planner (especially a bike/ped planner, which is what I currently do), but the reverse is not true. Finally, the Information Systems degree would be to tap into the emerging blend of Planning, Public Participation, and web technologies. Jobs specifically along these lines are limited, but the potential for some really interesting work is there and I already have some background in web development.
Anyway, I don't have a specific question, but would welcome any thoughts on the tradeoffs between the various paths and issues mentioned.